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Letitia A. Long

Professional headshot of Letitia Long

B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1982
Induction year: 2020

Letitia A. Long earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America. Long started her career in naval intelligence and went on to serve as the deputy director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, the first deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and the first chief information officer and later the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 2010, she became the fifth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the first woman to lead a major U.S. intelligence agency. 

Long currently sits on the boards of Raytheon Company, Noblis, HyperSat, and Quadrint. She serves on the Board of Visitors of Virginia Tech, as the chairman of the board of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, and as a member of the board of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. In addition, she sits on advisory boards, including the Virginia Tech Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology and HawkEye 360.

Current town:
Alexandria, Virginia

Glen Burnie, Maryland

Degrees from other institutions:
MSME, The Catholic University of America
Honorary PhD in Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University 

Professional roles:

  • Board Director, Raytheon, Noblis, Sonatype, HyperSat (2015-Present)
  • Chairman of the Board, Intelligence and National Security Alliance (2016-Present)
  • Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2010 – 2014)
    Deputy Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) (2006-2010)
    Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Intelligence) (2003-2006)
    Deputy Director Naval Intelligence (2000-2003)
    Executive Director, Intelligence Community Affairs (1998-2000)
    Chief Information Officer, DIA (1996-1998)
  • Director of Military Intelligence Staff Director, DIA (1994-1995)
  • Naval Intelligence Project Engineer and Program Manager (1982-1994)

Advisory board and committees:

  • Board of Visitors, Virginia Tech (2017-Present)
  • Board of Advisors, Virginia Tech Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology (2015-Present)
  • Board of Advisors, Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs (2015-2019)
  • HawkEye 360 Advisory Board Chairman (2016-Present)
  • Board of Directors, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Board Member (2015-Present)
  • Board of Advisors, National Security Institute, George Mason University (2107-Present)

How did what you learned at Virginia Tech impact your career?
Virginia Tech provided me with a strong foundation in critical thinking and structured analysis - how to approach a problem and get to the heart of the issue.

Why did you choose your profession?
I always loved math and science and excelled at both.  I had a high school guidance counselor who steered me in the direction of engineering and I chose EE for the math.

Why did you decide to come to Virginia Tech?
It was a great engineering school and far enough away from home that Mom and Dad couldn't just rop by unannounced, yet close enough that I could get home for a weekend.

Who influenced you during your career and/or time at Virginia Tech?
At Virginia Tech it was Dr Charles Bostian and Dr Charles Nunnally.  Their classes on satellite communications and microprocessors made their teaching come alive.  It was also Mrs Margaret Buford Blair, the namesake of my Alpha Phi Omega pledge class.  She taught me the meaning Ut Prosim, That I May Serve.  In my career I have been fortunate to have many mentors in the Intelligence Community - Jim Clapper and Joan Dempsey to name just two.

What's one of your favorite memories from Virginia Tech?
It's hard to name just one favorite memory - football games, fall colors and the many service projects with Alpha Phi Omega.

As a Virginia Tech student, did you hold a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship? If so, what did it provide for you and what was the impact of it on your life?
I was in the Co-Operative Education program while at Virginia Tech and worked for a Navy Research Lab, David Taylor Research Center in Annapolis, MD.  The job enabled me to put myself through school and also importantly, I was able to apply, in real time, what I was learning in the classroom.  

What charitable organizations do you currently support and why?
Catholic Charities for the work they do around the world as well as several educational foundations:  United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and the Naval Intelligence Foundation for the scholarships they provide.

Is there a current college initiative that you are passionate about and would like to see it have success?
The Innovation Campus.

Please note: Inductee spotlight is as of their year of their induction.